Chateau Branaire Ducru, whose history goes all the way back to 1680, is today owned by Patrick Maroteaux, who bought the estate in 1988 from the Tapie family, who had been owners since 1919. Since his purchase, Maroteaux has focused much of his efforts on performing extensive work in the vineyards and in the cellars; he has reduced yields and modernized winemaking techniques. As a result, starting with the 2000 vintage, Branaire Ducru became one of the top St. Julien wines. It’s also one of the better values for high quality Bordeaux in the marketplace today. Duluc du Branaire Ducru is the chateau’s second wine, a classic five-grape Bordeaux blend made largely from the chateau’s younger vines. This vintage shows expressive fruit and spice on the nose, with a lingering smokiness in the background; the palate mirrors the nose with a velvety mouthfeel, punctuated by light tannins and a soft, powdery effect on the finish.
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